Fromis 9, also stylized as fromis_9 and stands for From Idol School, is a South Korean girl group formed by CJ E&M through the reality program Idol School in 2017. Pronounced as “promise” in Korean, the group was named as such “to keep their promise to be the best girl group.” Fromis 9 is composed of nine members – Roh Ji Sun, Song Ha Young, Lee Sae Rom, Lee Chae Young, Lee Na Gyung, Park Ji Won, Lee Seo Yeon, Baek Ji Heon, and Jang Gyu Ri.
The group officially debuted on January 24, 2018 under Stone Music Entertainment with the release of their first extended play (EP), To. Heart.
2017: Pre-debut and formation
In March 2017, Mnet first announced that the producers of the shows Sixteen and Produce 101 will be launching a new reality survival program called Idol School to form a new girl group. The show aired from July 13 to September 29, 2017 with finalists Roh Ji Sun, Song Ha Young, Lee Sae Rom, Lee Chae Young, Lee Na Gyung, Park Ji Won, Lee Seo Yeon, Baek Ji Heon, and Jang Gyu Ri all making it to the final lineup of Fromis. The final lineup was solely decided through live and online votes of viewers within the duration of the show.
Following their formation, Pledis Entertainment, led by CEO Han Sung Soo, managed the group’s training leading to their official debut.
On October 19, Fromis starred in their reality program titled Fromis’ Room, which focused on the members’ journey towards their debut. The show followed the format of a simulcast, where it combined pre-recorded materials and replays of Facebook Live broadcasts in the girls’ dorm.
On November 23, the group’s name was changed to Fromis 9, with the “9” referring to the nine “students” who graduated from Idol School.
On November 29, they performed their pre-debut single “Glass Shoes” at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards in Japan. It was then released as a digital single the following day. And on the December 15 episode of KBS’ Music Bank, Fromis 9 made their first ever music show appearance.
2018: Official debut
Fromis 9 officially debuted on January 24, 2018 with the release of their first EP, To. Heart, featuring the lead single of the same name.
On May 10, it was confirmed that member Jang Gyu Ri was one of the contestants of Mnet’s Produce 48 in an appearance on M! Countdown alongside fellow Idol School contestants Bae Eun Yeon, Lee Si An, and Jo Yuri.
With Jang Gyu Ri currently being unable to promote with the group, Fromis 9 continued with their activities and promotions as an eight-member group. They released their second EP, To. Day, on June 5, featuring the title track “DKDK”.
Following Jang Gyu-ri’s elimination from Produce 48, the group went back to promoting with nine members.
On September 21, it was announced that fromis_9 will be directly managed by Off The Record Entertainment, a new agency established by CJ E&M to handle all promotions by the group and the eventual winners of Produce 48, IZ*ONE.
fromis_9 released a special single album titled From.9 on October 10, featuring the title song “Love Bomb”. The song reached over 10 million views on YouTube shortly after its release and was the group’s first comeback after Jang Gyu’ri’s return.
On October 10, the group made their acting debut through the web series Welcome to Heal Inn, which was aired through their official VLive page. The series, however, did not include Jang Gyu-ri because it was filmed during her absence.
2019: Fun Factory
On February 8, 2019, it was announced that fromis_9 would be filming the second season of their series Welcome to Heal Inn, which was scheduled to be released in the winter. The new season will also include Jang Gyu-ri as a new traveler.
Three months later, Jang Gyu-ri made her solo acting debut in the web drama Compulsory Dating Education.
In June of the same year, the group released their first single album, Fun Factory, featuring the title track “FUN!”. The album reached number 2 on the Gaon Album Chart, which is a new high for the group.
In August, fromis_9 participated at KCON 2019 LA with performances on the second day alongside other idol groups SEVENTEEN, Mamamoo, Stray Kids, N.Flying, VERIVERY, and ITZY.
In December that year, it was rumored that fromis_9 would be joining Pledis Entertainment, which Pledis CEO Han Sung Soo vehemently denied.
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